Orig­i­nal Wanaka mo­tel up for sale

Builder was ahead of his time

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS - By CHE BAKER

A slice of Wanaka’s tourism his­tory and the first mo­tel be­lieved to be built in the South Is­land is for sale.

The Hel­wick St mo­tel was built in the 50s and since been changed into seven res­i­den­tial units but also served as staff ac­com­mo­da­tion and a back­pack­ers in its time.

At the time it was built many people did not think mo­tels were a prof­itable ven­ture.

Hamil­ton woman Jan Birtwistle said her fa­ther Frank Fay built and owned the mo­tel and named it the White Ele­phant Ho­tel.

The name came from a con­ver­sa­tion with then Dunedin mayor Sir Leonard Wright who had said ‘‘that will be a white ele­phant’’.

Fay sold the mo­tel in the 60s to the then Tourist Ho­tel Cor­po­ra­tion which used it to house staff af­ter the Wanaka Ho­tel burnt down.

On-site man­ager and real es­tate agent Cather­ine Pear­son said ‘‘there is not a lot of his­tory left (in Wanaka) . . . It’s all new houses and new mo­tels. In some ways it will be sad to see it go’’.

Photo: CHE BAKER/FAIR­FAX NZ 629408692.

For­mer mo­tel: New As­pir­ing Realty real es­tate agent Cather­ine Pear­son at the site of the first South Is­lands mo­tels in Wanaka which is for sale.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.